The Left-Fascist Axis. Again
By James Lewis
By James Lewis
June 7th, 2010
By Drew Zahn, WND
Will Obama Nationalize Oil?
While management of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has shaken many Americans’ confidence in the current administration, some voices in entertainment, news and academia see the crisis as reason to give the federal government even more power – namely, the ability to take over the oil industry.
The notion is catching on with the public, too. A CBS poll recently tabulated 63 percent of Americans believe the Obama administration should be doing more in response to the spill, and activists working through the SeizeBP.org website are planning protests in 50 cities throughout the week demanding the federal government take over BP, the company that owns and operates the leaking oil drill.
The Seize BP organization is demanding BP assets be nationalized not only to clean up the spill, but also to compensate families affected by what the organization calls “this capitalist-made disaster.”
Since BP’s offshore drill began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico in April, the Obama administration has deferred to the corporation’s expertise in seeking to stop the flow.
But as the ongoing environmental disaster has extended beyond 40 days and counting, entertainer Rosie O’Donnell, political pundit James Carville and former Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich have joined those calling for a federal takeover of the situation.
On her “Rosie Radio” program earlier this week, O’Donnell quoted Carville, who told CNN’s John King, “This president needs to tell BP, ‘I’m your daddy, I’m in charge. You’re going to do what we say.’”
“James Carville said the best thing,” O’Donnell affirmed, adding that she’d like to see Obama say, “’I’m signing an executive order and I’m taking over the BP oil spill.’ Like, boom, boom, boom. Someone has to do it.”
Tea Partiers, the Obama administration is on your side.
That’s been the message from the White House over the past few days, as top officials dispute charges that Washington is on a spending binge and encourage conservative protesters to count their blessings.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, when asked about the Tea Party protests, said in an interview Sunday that the Obama administration is paying more attention to deficit and spending concerns than the Bush administration did.
“We’ve just been through eight years where many people said deficits don’t matter. We can pass huge tax cuts, pass huge new programs without paying for them. That debate has changed fundamentally,” Geithner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“You don’t hear people say anymore deficits don’t matter. You don’t hear people saying we can pass enormous expansions in government without paying for it. That’s an important change.”
And President Obama said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser Thursday that Tea Party activists should “be saying thank you” to him for the tax cuts passed by his administration.
The change in tone comes as surveys show distrust in the government is rising to historic levels. A Pew Research Center survey released on Monday found almost 80 percent of Americans say they don’t trust Washington.
Dana Perino, former White House press secretary under the Bush administration and a Fox News contributor, said that the Obama administration is wise to try to appeal to the Tea Partiers. But she said the claim that Obama is tackling the deficit is off base.
“He’s right, in one sense, to finally stop degrading people who affiliate with the Tea Party movement. But if his policies meshed up with his rhetoric, it would probably be a stronger sell point,” Perino said.
Obama has established a bipartisan commission to study ways to bring down the national debt and rein in deficits. But his spending has far outpaced that of his predecessor.
President Bush ran up a $458.6 billion deficit during his last full year in office. Obama ran up a $1.4 trillion deficit in fiscal 2009 — that covered part of Bush’s final year, but budget projections show deficits will continue to top $1 trillion for several years under Obama.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders, responding to growing resistance in their party to a financial regulations overhaul being pushed by President Obama, are considering ways to potentially block the legislation if it makes it to the Senate floor without more bipartisan input.
The options being discussed include sending a letter to the Democratic leadership signed by all 41 Republican senators threatening to unify against the legislation, Dow Jones reports. The GOP has enough votes to mount a filibuster.
The latest developments come on a day when the White House and congressional Republicans sparred over how to protect taxpayers against “too big to fail” financial institutions, sharply disagreeing on whether legislation backed by Obama would leave the government on the hook for bailing out firms whose failure might threaten the economy.
Obama, meeting with House and Senate leaders of both parties, insisted on a tough bill, specifically singling out oversight of previously unregulated financial instruments. How to regulate these products, known as derivatives, has become the latest point of friction between Democrats and Republicans.
Senate Republicans met later Wednesday night to discuss their “overwhelming opposition” to the Democrats’ handling of the bill, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota told Dow Jones. “What we would like to do is have a seat at the table.”
As the Senate prepares to begin debate in less than two weeks on legislation revamping regulation of the financial industry, the question of bailouts has elevated the sharp partisan differences over how to respond to the 2008 crisis that caused a near meltdown on Wall Street.
Both sides were testing populist messages, seizing on public disdain for big financial institutions. The White House argued opposition to the bill amounted to support for Wall Street banks; Republicans countered that the Obama-backed bill would perpetuate bailouts for Wall Street firms rather than end them.
Obama, speaking briefly to reporters before the closed meeting began, said he was “absolutely confident that the bill that emerges is going to be a bill that prevents bailouts. That’s the goal.”
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner later said that the cost of taking down large failing financial institutions will be borne by big banks, not taxpayers. The House and Senate bills call for funds, financed by large financial institutions, to cover the costs of liquidating firms deemed too large to go through bankruptcy proceedings. Republicans have argued that the funds would not be sufficient and that taxpayers could still be on the hook to pay to deal with giant failures. They also argue that emergency loan authority by the Federal Reserve could also amount to a financial bailout.
The give-and-take, which officials said was more heated in public than in private, set the terms for the final debate on yet another of Obama’s priorities. The president is hoping the Senate acts quickly and passes a bill that can be easily reconciled with legislation that passed the House in December. But Democrats need at least one Republican to overcome procedural hurdles and the looming question was whether the administration and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would simply seek to pick off Republican senators or build a coalition through bipartisan negotiations.
Reid signaled Wednesday that he was ready to proceed quickly. Reid had initially planned to bring the bill up the week of April 26, but officials said Wednesday that he now might seek to begin debate next week.
Asked after the White House meeting whether it was time to abandon efforts to negotiate with Republicans, Reid said: “We’re going to move on the bill very quickly. They can offer all the amendments they want on the floor.”
Sen. Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, agreed to meet again with the committee’s top Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama. Aides said Dodd, D-Conn., believed he and Shelby could add language to the bill that would address the bailout question without fundamentally altering the bill.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a banking committee member who has negotiated with Dodd, said the rhetoric over potential bailouts had become overheated. “The fact is,” he added, “I think we could fix those in about five minutes.”
Earlier, Dodd angrily accused Republicans of “political chicanery” and appeared on the verge of abandoning talks.
“My patience is running out, my patience is running out,” he said from the Senate floor. “I’m not going to continue doing this if all I’m getting from the other side is the suggestions somehow that this is a partisan effort.”
Aides said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in the meeting urged Obama not to cut off bipartisan talks. Afterward, McConnell still insisted that the Senate bill “will lead to endless taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street banks.”
That was the message McConnell delivered earlier Wednesday on the Senate floor — the second such attack on the bill in as many days. He said the White House plans the same approach on financial reforms that it took on health care: “Put together a partisan bill, then jam it through on a strictly partisan basis.”
White House economist Austan Goolsbee dismissed the GOP objections as “totally disingenuous.”
“Bailouts are forbidden,” he said in an interview. “There will only be wipeouts. They (the banks) will clean up the messes. If somebody fails, they’re done — they’re toast. The management is fired. They’re broken up or sold off or liquidated.”
Goolsbee added the GOP broadside was “pretty cheeky of the Republican leadership,” and an effort to divert attention from its efforts to stop regulation of the derivatives market. “They’re trying to dramatically weaken and put loopholes into that derivatives regulation,” he said.
Republicans think they continue to score huge points with voters by opposing the health care overhaul that narrowly passed Congress with no GOP votes. They are taking a similar approach on financial regulations.
The White House says GOP lawmakers are using campaign strategist talking points to label the legislation as a bank bailout, regardless of the truth.